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Networking Questions and Answers - Low Wireless Signal

Cheryl writes in with a networking question.
Question:
I have a HP Pavilion dv8000 laptop computer I recently purchased from a private party used. My laptop has wireless internet and I am not that familiar with it. I downloaded Limewire and after doing so my computer went on the blink. I took it to a friend and he had to reinstall my operating system. Ever since then my internet doesn't work all the time and when it does it show's very low signal strength and wont allow me to open or enter some sites. What do I do? I’m no nothing about the technical part of a computer. I can work on them but as for fixing them I have absolutely no clue. Can you please help me? I run my business off this computer and through the internet. I’m praying it’s something easy and quick to fix. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to your response.

Answer: When the operating system was reinstalled did you make sure to install the correct or current driver for your wireless card? If it is a built in card I would look in Device Manager to find out the model and try and update the driver.I would also make sure you have Service Pack 3 for Windows XP installed since it may increase your wireless functionality.

You should also be careful when using file sharing programs such as Limewire since there is a chance you can get viruses and spyware from the program or from files you download. If its a business computer its not a good idea to have that kind of software installed. I would make sure to do some spyware and virus scans just to make sure your system is clean.

If you are getting a low signal then it may time out on some sites making it appear that you cannot get into them. If you have any firewall software like Norton Internet Security then that could be causing it as well. You can disable it or check the settings to make sure it is not blocking things you don't want blocked.

If you do have an internal wireless device then you may want to look into an upgrade. Many of the built in wireless cards don't have the greatest signal. You can get a wireless PCMCIA or PC card for around $50 that should help your signal. Just make sure its a reputable brand and you have an open slot for it. If you have a name brand wireless router then its good to get a matching brand card as well.

 



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